Grocers Ditch Self-Checkout for Customer Interaction

Albertsons in South California is removing self-checkout to provide customers with a more personal shopping experience.

December 01, 2016

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. – The convenience of self-checkout is going away at Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions stores in Southern California, reports the Orange County Register, noting that the grocery chain is eliminating self-checkout lanes at 96 of its 352 stores (27%) in an effort to provide better one-on-one service to shoppers.

“Our focus is on providing full service and attention to our customers, which includes a friendly checker to serve them,” Carlos Illingworth, a local spokesman for Idaho-based The Albertsons Companies, told the news source.

Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions began removing self-service registers last month, with the removal of self-serve areas expected to be complete by February. And by getting rid of this option, the news source says that Albertsons is “bucking a trend” in the grocery channel. A 2014 Food Marketing Institute report found that 40% of U.S. shoppers ranked self-checkout as “somewhat important” or “very important” when selecting a grocery store.

Some retailers have not embraced self-checkout, such as Stater Bros. and Trader Joe’s, while others are adding more self-checkout to stores. Of Target’s 1,802 stores, about 1,200 (67%) offer self-checkout lanes. “We’ve added more self-checkout lanes, as we know that’s an added convenience to guests,” Target spokeswoman Kristy Welker told the news source.